Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
59th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line station)
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express: 86th Street ()
|width=20% align=right|Opening date||August 1, 1918
November 15, 1962 (express) 59th Street, located at Lexington Avenue and 59th Street , has four side platforms, two on the upper local level and two below serving express trains. Two other levels exist between the IRT platforms - the Broadway Line platforms under the local level, and a mezzanine between the BMT and express levels. Long escalators connect the local and express levels directly.
The station was originally local-only; the express platforms opened in 1962 to reduce congestion at 42nd Street-Grand Central (from people switching between local and express trains and to the 42nd Street Shuttle) and to allow transfers between the express tracks and the BMT Broadway Line to Queens. Even before the express platforms were added, the station was the busiest on the line.
The station used to have all green tile which has been covered up except for one "59th Street" sign near the south end of the northbound platform. There are whimsical stylised mosaics of coffee cups and slippers in varied colors at random spacing near the stairways to the mid (BMT) and upper (IRT local) levels. This station is currently being renovated.
The mezzanine between the IRT express level and the BMT level has a large-scale mosaic mural entitled Blooming, by Elizabeth Murray . It covers all four walls of the mezzanine area. The mosaic features larger versions of the coffee cups and slippers found on the platform walls, with the text: "in dreams begin responsibilities" and "Conduct your blooming in the noise and discipline of the whirlwind". The text floats from the coffee cups and are excerpted from poetry by Delmore Schwartz and Gwendolyn Brooks.
- NYCsubway.org - IRT East Side: 59th Street (text used with permission)
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